Honduras joined the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA, an alliance of leftist leaders in Latin America headed by Chavez, a staunch U.S. foe. President Manuel Zelaya, a logging magnate seen as a moderate liberal, told Reuters that oil-rich Venezuela's offer to double international aid to the country, one of the poorest in Latin America, is unrivaled.
Chavez, a self-styled socialist who wants to build up opposition to U.S. influence in Latin America by offering oil and cash to poor countries, pledged $400 million a year in aid to tiny Honduras. Zelaya told a cheering crowd that Honduras would have energy security "for the next 100 years."
Honduras still hosts U.S. troops at one of its military bases. "Our decades-long relationship of dominance by the United States has not benefited all Hondurans," Zelaya said.
This is substantially more than its earlier estimate of 985 million people living in poverty in 2004.
"This is pretty grim analysis coming from the World Bank," said Elizabeth Stuart, senior policy adviser at Oxfam. "The urgency to act has never been greater, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where half the population of the continent lives in extreme poverty, a figure that hasn't changed for over 25 years."
[Excerpt of an article by Steve Schifferes, BBC]
Yes, Joseph R. Wood, Cheney's deputy assistant for national security affairs, was in Georgia shortly before the war began. The vice-president’s office responded that it had nothing to do with a military operation that some have said suggests a renewal of the Cold War.
Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates.
"U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict," Putin said. "They were acting in implementing those orders, doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader."
[Based on articles in the L.A. Times and CNN]
Excerpts of a speech by Rep. Dennis Kucinich at Democratic National Convention:
“If there was an Olympics for misleading, mismanaging and misappropriating, this administration would take the gold,” Kucinich said. “World records for violations of national and international laws … we can't afford another Republican administration. Wake up,
“This administration can tap our phones. They can't tap our creative spirit,” he said. “They can open our mail. They can't open economic opportunities. They can track our every move. They lost track of the economy while the cost of food, gasoline and electricity skyrockets. They skillfully played our post-9/11 fears and allowed the few to profit at the expense of the many.”
Back during the Nixon years, my Ph.D. dissertation chairman, Warren Nutter, was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. One day in his Pentagon office I asked him how the US government got foreign governments to do what the US wanted.
"Money," he replied.
"You mean foreign aid?" I asked.
"No," he replied, "we just buy the leaders with money."
Nutter did not mean merely third world potentates were bought. He meant the leaders of England, France, Germany, Italy, all the allies everywhere were bought and paid for.
The American-educated thug, Saakashkvili the president of Georgia, was installed by the US taxpayer funded National Endowment for Democracy, a neocon operation whose purpose is to ring Russia with US military bases, so that America can exert hegemony over Russia.
"Under the cover of needing to deliver humanitarian goods, NATO countries continue to boost their naval grouping," Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of general staff, told a news conference in
"I don't think that this will help stabilize the situation in the region."
The exercises, which will include visits in
There is no strategic justification for siting American missile systems in
[Excerpt of an article by Simon Jenkins, The Times]
|Israel agreed to allow two boats to dock in Gaza in what activists on board called a “historic occasion” that they vowed to turn into a “regular passage from Gaza to the outside world”.|
“Everybody is ecstatic,” said Jeff Halper, from aboard one of the two vessels, the 20-metre Free Gaza and the 18m Liberty, that set sail for Gaza on Friday from Cyprus. “We broke the siege,” he said.
On Friday, the Israeli foreign ministry had issued a tough-worded statement warning the Free Gaza organisation, the group behind the action, that Israel would “make sure this provocation does not take place” and that “all options are being considered”. Reports from Gaza suggested the Israeli navy had deployed and could prevent the boats from reaching the strip.
But late yesterday, Israel appeared to backtrack and said the 46 activists, carrying humanitarian aid including hearing aids for Palestinian children, could disembark in Gaza, where they were greeted by hundreds of cheering Palestinians.
“I think it is a historic occasion,” Jeff Halper, a participating Israeli-Jewish activist, said just after the two boats entered Gazan waters. “I think it shows people power and I think it should give hope to people all over the world under oppression that there are people out there and you can achieve things.”
Israel has led an international boycott of Gaza since Hamas seized power in the territory in June 2007. Trade crossing between Gaza and Israel are closed to all but basic humanitarian supplies, causing widespread shortages of fuel, electricity and basic goods in Gaza and decimating the local economy.
A joint Iraqi-U.S. committee would help define the duration and number of forces that would be needed and regularly assess the security situation on the ground.
Mohammed al-Haj Hamoud, deputy foreign minister and head of the Iraqi negotiating team, said the proposal also says the last date for the presence of
Oh just admit it, we have a love affair with war. We love "
- Why else are Americans so eager and willing to surrender 54% of their tax dollars to a war machine, which consumes 47% of the world's total military budgets?
- Why are there more civilian mercenaries working for no-bid private war contractors than the total number of enlisted military in Iraq (180,000 to 160,000), at an added cost to taxpayers in excess of $200 billion and climbing daily?
We've lost our moral compass: Today war greed trumps morals. During the Revolutionary War our leaders risked their lives and fortunes; many lost both. Today it's the opposite.
[Excerpt of an article by Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch]
The illusion created by the western media, is that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin are hanging on every word that emerges from the White House and gauging their
American's are convinced that their activities in the world still matter. That's because Americans are marinated in a culture of narcissism. In truth, "American exceptionalism" is just a misunderstanding of one's own basic insignificance.
And, no; there won't be a war with
Putin [has also] been sending anti-aircraft weaponry to Iran hoping it will dissuade Israel from doing something foolish, like blowing up what's left of the Middle East.
[With the situation in
[Excerpt of an article by
When the Russian army went into
The Americans were the first to announce preemptive nuclear attack as their permissible war doctrine. Now the Russians have announced the tactical use of nuclear weapons as their response to American smart weapons.
It is obvious that American foreign policy, with its goal of ringing
In order to keep the billions of dollars in profits flowing to its contributors in the
[Excerpt of an article by Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration]
The 'Free Gaza' movement has been collecting money and supplies since last year to allow the unprecedented blockade-breaking trip to move forward. As the sixty activists gathered in
The aim of the group is to bring much-needed medicine, medical supplies and food to the civilian population of
Tom Nelson, the Portland, Oregon-based lawyer for the group, says they are simply trying to expose the truth about
Well, as you might have guessed, there was such a vote. We needed 60 votes to prevail, and 59 of them were in. But John McCain ducked the vote. [
As a result, instead of powering millions of homes with clean energy and building next-generation solar technology, we're giving ExxonMobil and other companies billions in tax breaks at a time when they're already making record profits.
As of 1991, the oil of
And can we not understand how a Russian patriot like Vladimir Putin would be incensed by this
"Using the money for a good cause was the best revenge," Steve told me. "The only way for us to counteract great evil was with great good."
Today the Peter C. Alderman Foundation, in partnership with
When I spoke to the Aldermans about their foundation, I was struck by the fact they, unlike most philanthropists who talk about the grants they have made, talk about the effect they have had. With an annual operating budget of $500,000 they have set out to help people across the globe. Liz and Steve found that, to have the impact they were seeking, they had to identify outstanding partners and find ways to leverage their giving.
The Aldermans represent the vanguard of philanthropy - individuals who have recognized that philanthropy is not defined by the act of giving but by the achievement of impact. They have discovered that the most emotionally satisfying philanthropy is a gift that has impact.
[Excerpt of an article by Sean Stannard-Stockton, The Financial Times]
God's wrath seems at work these days, as the heavens and Earth have unleashed earthquakes in
"We're just kind of at God's mercy right now, so hopefully people that never prayed before this, it might be a good time to start," Linn County Sheriff Don Zeller said this week as record floods hit the
By the final Book of Revelation in the New Testament, the Earth suffers "Seven Plagues" -- from disease to "intense heat" and drought, then finally a shower of deadly hailstones. And then comes the Apocalypse, the final judgment of man and destruction of the world by fire. The Apocalypse is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, but end-of-the-world stories are also woven through some Hindu and Islamic beliefs.
Many reputable scholars do lend some credence to the notion that the world is in for some kind of disaster, be it meteorological, ecological or geopolitical.
ABC News will air a dramatic two-hour broadcast in September, Earth 2100, bringing the greatest minds across the globe together to tell us what we must do to survive the next century. And what may happen if we don't.
When Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered the city to be bombed by warplanes and shelled by heavy artillery last August 8th, he knew that he would be killing hundreds of civilians in their homes and neighborhoods. But he ordered the bombing anyway.
The Georgian army entered the city unopposed. Most of the townspeople had already fled across the border into
In less than 24 hours, the Russian army was deployed to the war zone where it chased the Georgian army away without a fight. Journalist Michael Binyon put it like this, "The attack was short, sharp and deadly---enough to send the Georgians fleeing in humiliating panic." Indeed, the Georgians left in such haste that many of their weapons were left behind. It was a complete rout; another black-eye for the
As a private lobbyist trying to influence lawmakers and Bush administration staffers, McCain’s advisor Randy Scheunemann, at times relied on his access to McCain in his work for foreign clients on Capitol Hill. The contacts often focused on
The Bush Administration's ambition to extend NATO into the
Russians, who were the target of the provocation, are quietly pleased with the speed and effectiveness of their Government's response under Putin.
We know that U.S. and Israel has been instrumental in training the Georgia troops, as recently confirmed by the President and a government minister.
Now President Bush, flanked by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, announced a military buildup in
Even as he spoke of a humanitarian mission, Bush made clear the military dimensions of the measures he was announcing. He said he was directing Pentagon chief Gates to lead the mission, which would be “headed by the
This seems to be an injection of US military and naval forces into
The Stars and Stripes meanwhile confirms that
The same evening, however, he ordered a general offensive. Through all of Thursday night and Friday morning, Georgian artillery shells and rockets rained down on
Saakashvili assumed that the world's attention would be distracted by the opening of the Olympics, and that the Russian reaction would be slow because Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was off in
But all of his calculations were wrong. There was no delay in the Russian response.
[Excerpt of an article by Gwynne Dyer, The
“I don’t aspire to great wealth and I don’t admire it and I don’t intend to leave this earth as a rich man,” Mr. Forrest told reporters.
“I have a philosophy [about wealth] and that is that it doesn’t do much for you,” he said.
“I know very wealthy people who have survived and become good guys despite their wealth, but I also know many others around the world who haven’t.”
At a time when so much of the world’s commodity wealth–oil, metals, etc.–is getting dumped into yachts, planes and megamansions, it is encouraging to see that some of the money is going toward helping the poor.
If Mr. Forrest follows through on his promise, perhaps he could become the
Vice President Dick Cheney personally called Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to express
Others like Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writing in The Washington Post, conclude:
“This war did not begin because of a miscalculation by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. It is a war that
“The man who once called the collapse of the Soviet Union ‘the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the (20th) century’ has re-established a virtual czarist rule in
Mikhail Gorbachev sees the Russian -
“The Georgian military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali with multiple rocket launchers designed to devastate large areas.
“Mounting a military assault against innocents was a reckless decision. The Georgian leadership could do this only with the perceived support and encouragement of a much more powerful force. Georgian armed forces were trained by hundreds of
“In other words, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was expecting unconditional support from the West. … Now that the Georgian military assault has been routed, both the Georgian government and its supporters should rethink their position.”
The report was prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, and noted that spending for contractors account for about 20 percent of spending for operations in
There are currently at least 190,000 contract employees working in the
[Excerpt of article by Kimberley Hefling, Associated Press]
But our media have taken this complex picture and projected on to it a simple morality tale of ethnic cleansing and genocide. They gloss over the fact that the Janjaweed militia come from the same ethnic group and religion as the people they are allegedly persecuting - everyone in
The Sudanese defense minister condemned the Janjaweed as "bandits" in a speech to the country's parliament in March. On July 19, moreover, a court in
It is far from clear that the sudden media attention devoted to
The prospect of sending troops into
[Excerpt of article by John Laughland, The Guardian]
The Russian invasion "sends a message to all of the countries in the former Soviet space that
A national security official at the White House said the
State-run media quoted Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as defending
"We are entering a new world energy order," chief economist Fatih Birol of The International Energy Agency (IEA) told The Associated Press. Market analysts call the Paris-based IEA the world's most reliable independent source of oil information and welcomed its decision to undertake a deep study of oil supplies. Birol said the IEA study, whose results will be released in November, was prompted by concern about the volatility of world oil markets and uncertainty about supply levels.
Birol said one of the key shifts coming up is that the world will become increasingly reliant on national oil companies instead of multinational ones. "Up to now, we have seen that the international oil companies were responsible for bringing a big chunk of the oil to the markets. Now, in many cases, since existing reserves are declining, a big part of oil will need to come from national oil companies. And they have their own conditions, their own context."
Birol noted that, "Both on the demand side and supply side, we have new actors who change the rules of the game." He said most demand now and in the coming decades will come from
The tycoon, estimated by Forbes magazine with $6 billion of wealth, announced his plan at a banquet to celebrate his engagement to Delia Tseng, the United Daily News reported. Gou's special assistant and Hon Hai spokesman Edmund Ding confirmed the plan, saying the billionaire has consistently given to charity and that there was no start date to his latest cause.
Gou, 57, joins Warren Buffett,
The problem isn't corruption or even plain incompetence. All public life in
Qiu Tian, NGO project manager, says the head of one town where seven schools collapsed turned away an NGO offering psychological counseling to pupils; he worried about "involving strangers working in his area" and lacked the expertise to conduct background checks, she says. Such caution tends to be strongest among lower-level officials in outlying townships.
[Excerpt of an article by Mary Hennock, Newsweek]
President Karzai said, ‘It is a moral responsibility as human beings to protect the lives of our women and children, and to prevent the loss of life caused by terrorism by defeating terrorism and by eliminating it completely, and thereby bringing security to our peoples and the world at large.’
Veteran correspondent Charley Reese expresses his concern thus:
Hopefully, the next U.S. president, whoever he is, will have sense enough to realize that an anti-missile site in Eastern Europe is not worth rekindling the Cold War with
Though the press pays little attention to it, the Bush administration has already practically wrecked relations with
President Bush's lame excuse is that the system is designed to protect
[Excerpt of an article by Charley Reese, Anti-War]
From all appearance, Gazprom, which was headed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for eight years from 2000 to May 2008, has taken an audacious initiative. The Kremlin has a grand strategy. China Daily commented, "It seems that a shift of
Suffice it to say that Gazprom's new stature as the sole buyer of Turkmen gas strengthens
There must be deep frustration in
[Excerpt of an article by Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar, a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service, as published in the
More recently, they added the "Next 11": middle-sized developing countries such as
Back in 2006, Goldman Sachs predicted the Chinese economy would surpass that of the
But now the Goldman Sachs team have put out a new set of forecasts. The Chinese economy, they predict, will overtake the
The changes in the pecking order are equally dramatic further down.
[Excerpt of an article by Gwynne Dyer, The Scotsman]
All this was laid bare this month as the Iraqi government went on the offensive in its call for
From the start of the occupation, the Bush administration has shown little regard for Iraqi sovereignty and international legal prohibitions against making significant changes to the legal and political institutions of an occupied country. Instead, the administration pursued what, former World Bank chief economist Joseph Stiglitz characterized as "an even more radical form of shock therapy than pursued in the former Soviet world," as it completely reshaped
The State Department recently assisted the Big 5 oil companies in winning rights to develop some of
The current spat over the SoF Agreement once again raises the question of why we fought this war to begin with. After five years of war at a cost of approximately $539 billion, 90,000 Iraqi lives, over 35,000 American soldiers wounded or killed, we now know what we suspected all along -- that Operation Iraqi Freedom was never about liberating the people of
[Excerpt of an article by Bennet Kelley, Huffington Post]